RENTON, Wash. -- When DK Metcalf lasted all the way until the end of the second round, much later than the Seattle Seahawks thought he would be drafted, it wasn't the first time he surprised his new team.
That came two months earlier in a meeting room at the scouting combine.
"I was surprised that he came into our interview with his shirt off," coach Pete Carroll said, drawing laughter from general manager John Schneider and the assembled media, after the Seahawks chose Metcalf 64th overall Friday night.
The backstory goes like this: Seahawks area scout Aaron Hineline and co-director of player personnel Trent Kirchner convinced Metcalf to take off his shirt before walking into their meeting in Indianapolis, exposing the hulking physique that had made headlines in a viral photo from a few weeks earlier. The idea was to throw Carroll off.
"Yeah, we're serious," Carroll said. "He did. He came in with his shirt off. It kind of pissed me off, so I took my shirt off, too. Not for long, though."
Carroll was kidding about being miffed but not about how he responded. The Seahawks tweeted the video. Metcalf enters with nothing but a credential and a chain covering his upper body. A fired-up Carroll responds by taking his own shirt off before giving Metcalf a hearty handshake.
That story lightened the mood amid the grim report from ESPN's Adam Schefter that Doug Baldwin, Seattle's longest-tenured receiver, might be unable to play again because of the cumulative effect of multiple injuries.
Schneider said Baldwin's status "didn't really weigh in" to the decision to draft Metcalf, whom Seattle took after giving up a fourth-round pick in order to move up 13 spots in a trade with the New England Patriots.
"Why'd y'all wait this long, man?" an emotional Metcalf asked Carroll on the phone after the team called to inform him of the selection.
Metcalf, who ran a blazing 4.33 in the 40-yard dash at the combine but produced less impressive results in some of the agility drills, had been a mainstay in most first-round mock drafts during much of the pre-draft process. However, neither ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. nor Todd McShay had him going in the initial 32 in their final projections.
"That's not for me to say," Metcalf said when asked whether he expected to be chosen earlier. "I'm just happy that Seattle took a chance on me."
Metcalf and Schneider said there are no lingering concerns about the neck injury that ended his final season at Ole Miss after seven games, by which point he had caught 26 passes for 569 yards and five touchdowns.
Of the emotional phone call, Schneider said: "It hit him really hard. That's who he is, he's an all-in guy. He puts his head down and works his tail off. He was really emotional."
Carroll has long had an affinity for big receivers, and at 6-foot-3 and 228 pounds, Metcalf easily fits the bill.
"We've been attempting to find that guy because it is a real factor if it fits right," Carroll said. "The split-end spot is there for a guy who can match up one-on-one. You get a lot of one-on-ones over there, and if a guy can do a good job of beating whoever he's going against, then you can have a real weapon on that side. We've loved it over the years. But we have not had that guy. DK has the opportunity to be that type of player. You can force the one-on-ones there more than any other spot and if the guy can have the chemistry with the quarterback and all that, then you can really create a weapon. I talked to [Russell Wilson] already and he was excited about working with him and he asked what kind of a worker is he and all that. We know DK is a great worker and it's really important to him to do all the stuff you have to do to get right.
"That matches up great with our quarterback; they're two birds of the same feather there. We'll see what we can do with it and there's a lot of optimism. There's a big role to be played there."
In addition to the viral photo and the 40 time, Metcalf has drawn attention on social media for his uncommonly low body-fat percentage. He estimated that it's now at 3 percent.
"My life has changed because of people taking notice of what I've been able to do with my body and my numbers," he said. "It's time for me to just show what kind of football player that I am."